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Old 07-20-2008, 21:11   #41
tc556guy
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We have a mix of Dyne, Marines and Army. On paper you're supposed to have two Army guys in each District being covered down on; in reality many are running with just one. The numbers are going to vary by what stage that District is considered to be in for for reform purposes ( I thru V )
We don't RIP til November; with a May date I'm guessing you'd more likely be down in the South; those guys got into their areas before we did.
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Old 07-20-2008, 23:08   #42
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I don't think I understand your answer. What's this stuff about "two army guys in each District" - your teams are bigger than two soldiers... I'm confused.

You're also saying that Army, Dynecorp, and Marines can be mixed in the same ETT/PMT team?


I'll be honest, I still have about a million questions... What are you using for your course of instruction? What kind of ratio are you doing between training and operations? Are you getting enough interpreters? Are you getting the resources you need for the mission in terms of manpower, equipment, and (especially) training? When you go outside the wire, is it for days at a time for each mission?

I'll keep pestering you so long as you humor me! If I get to be annoying, just let me know and I'll stop. Thanks so much for the answers so far - I haven't had a chance to talk to anyone doing the same mission that we'll likely have.

And, good luck over there. Stay safe.
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Old 07-21-2008, 05:34   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biscuitsjam View Post
I don't think I understand your answer. What's this stuff about "two army guys in each District" - your teams are bigger than two soldiers... I'm confused.
You're also saying that Army, Dynecorp, and Marines can be mixed in the same ETT/PMT team?


In Afghanistan you have two types of police reform going on: FDD, which is a dictrict development for areas that have a more stable and long term police presence. The other program is IDR, or In District Reform. This is for areas where there has been no police presence, where they are still in the process of standing up a functional police presence. This is largely in the South and West. In these areas, the mentor teams are composed of a mix of Marines, Army and Dyne. Our contribution is two guys per district.


Quote:
What are you using for your course of instruction?
There is a POI published out of Kabul. Its more of a basis for whats being taught; we are augmenting that with self-generated material, as all of us are instructors either on the military or civilian LEO side of the house.

Quote:
What kind of ratio are you doing between training and operations?
Varies by area.

Quote:
Are you getting enough interpreters?
No, but thats being corrected, so by the time you get here, it should be less of an issue. The biggest issue is that you have guys from Dari-speaking districts and you have guys from Pashto-speaking districts. So both your Afghan instructors and the terps need to be fluent in both Dari and Pashto. You already spend alot of time getting bogged down in translating from English to one language; now you have to translate to TWO other languages. On top of that, factor in that only about 5 % of your Afghans will be literate.

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Are you getting the resources you need for the mission in terms of manpower, equipment, and (especially) training?
Actually, they seem to be cutting back on manpower. We are through one phase of IDR training with half of the students from the districts we are currently training. They will be sending the remainder of the guys from those districts in a few weeks, and the number of Americans on the ground is being cut.

Equipment, yeah, for the most part. There are tons of Afghan weapons, uniforms, etc that we have on hand. Dyne is great in terms of providing training aids, office supplies, etc.

One of the biggest impediments to training other than the language issue is the general Afghan lack of motivation. Some of these guys are VERY motivated, some have NO motivation. This applies to both the ANP and the Afghan instructors. Once lunchtime rolls around, this country pretty much shuts down, especially on a Thursday. Trying to get them to do anything training-wise in the afternoon is like pulling teeth. It almost seems like some of these guys are ADD or suffer from some other type of learning disability.

Quote:
When you go outside the wire, is it for days at a time for each mission?
Keep in mind that this will vary by district and what your training mission is. In the South and West, you are mainly doing instruction because these are guys with NO formal police training.

Quote:
I'll keep pestering you so long as you humor me! If I get to be annoying, just let me know and I'll stop. Thanks so much for the answers so far - I haven't had a chance to talk to anyone doing the same mission that we'll likely have.

Feel free to ask questions. We were fed a steady stream of BS from desk weinies in Kabul about what it would be like out in the districts. You'll probably go to the COIN school or the DART training in Kabul before being pushed out. Keep in mind that those courses are being taught in large part by guys who stick around Kabul and don't know a lot about how things really are in other parts of the country outside of reading a report.
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Old 07-22-2008, 15:24   #44
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Commander: Media reports on Afghanistan outpost battle were exaggerated
173rdís fight not symbol of more violent Afghanistan, says Preysler
By Mark St.Clair, Stars and Stripes
Mideast edition, Sunday, July 20, 2008

"The sky is not falling," Col. Charles "Chip" Preysler, commander of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, said Saturday from Jalalabad, Afghanistan.

Preysler spoke via telephone less than a week after his paratroops and their Afghan allies were involved in a fierce attack at a small post near the village of Wanat. In the July 13 battle, nine of his men were killed and 15 others wounded.

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http://www.stripes.com/article.asp?s...1&archive=true
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Old 07-27-2008, 10:38   #45
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There's a lot of rumors flowing around about our mission in Afghanistan. Supposedly, the pentagon only "needs" 1500 soldiers for our Brigade's training mission, but we're overstrength at 3500 soldiers. There's discussion about whether some or all of our brigade could be assigned another mission in country... We're still preparing for the PMT/ETT mission, but it's not clear what will happen.

PMT/ETT teams:
What are the lowest ranks of soldiers that are assigned to PMT/ETT teams? Do some PFCs that are high-speed or have law-enforcement backgrounds get assigned? What about infantry/cavalry SPCs that have no combat experience?

For the guys that don't get picked for PMT/ETT teams - do they have a severe shortage of NCOs (squad leaders, platoon sergeants, etc.)?

What happened to your company commanders and other high-ranking guys that suddenly didn't have a unit to command?

Unrelated questions:
Do you know where your battalion/brigade's 13F (Forward Observers) went? Are they on the PMT/ETT teams? Tasked out to colocate with the PMT/ETT teams?
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Old 07-27-2008, 11:43   #46
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There's a lot of rumors flowing around about our mission in Afghanistan. Supposedly, the pentagon only "needs" 1500 soldiers for our Brigade's training mission, but we're overstrength at 3500 soldiers.

You need as many people as you can muster. The last two rotations have needed more people than initially thought

PMT/ETT teams:
What are the lowest ranks of soldiers that are assigned to PMT/ETT teams? Do some PFCs that are high-speed or have law-enforcement backgrounds get assigned? What about infantry/cavalry SPCs that have no combat experience?
Speaking only from personal experience, no one under E4

For the guys that don't get picked for PMT/ETT teams - do they have a severe shortage of NCOs (squad leaders, platoon sergeants, etc.)?

What happened to your company commanders and other high-ranking guys that suddenly didn't have a unit to command?

They still have secfor or other missions. PMT teams are not lifted intact from one unit; they are consolidated from Brigade-wide. Company Commanders still have the bulk of their units

Unrelated questions:
Do you know where your battalion/brigade's 13F (Forward Observers) went? Are they on the PMT/ETT teams? Tasked out to colocate with the PMT/ETT teams?

I haven't seen any in my area. My guess would be that they are with the line companies on whatever missions they are tasked with. Keep in mind that the Army has a vcery non-kinetic vision of this conflict, especially the top leaders in Kabul. The Marines have a much more kinetic vision of whats going on on the ground
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Old 08-13-2008, 16:45   #47
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Our mission changed. We're now getting a battlespace in South-East Afghanistan in what's supposedly a hot area.

We're no longer getting the ETT/PMT mission, though we're supposed to send some guys on an "ECT" mission, whatever that is. Maybe it's just a new acronym for ETT?
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Old 08-13-2008, 17:50   #48
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Our mission changed. We're now getting a battlespace in South-East Afghanistan in what's supposedly a hot area.

We're no longer getting the ETT/PMT mission, though we're supposed to send some guys on an "ECT" mission, whatever that is. Maybe it's just a new acronym for ETT?
Going to be on the Paki border then...Expect LOTS of mountain time....If you have any say in your Squad/Plt/whatever training, I would start pushing for some long ruck marches (off the hardball)....If you're around Ghanzi, the locals are pretty tolerate of the US forces (not so much NATO), and there will be at least one PRT (Provincial Reconstruction Team) operating there. You'll be close to KAF, so CAS should't be hard to get if needed...

Can't help you on the 'ECT', haven't heard of that before..



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Old 08-13-2008, 19:14   #49
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They're saying that ISAF will be providing our air support. They're currently talking about sending our entire troop to a remote patrol base that currently only contains a platoon.

We do a ruck march on some steep roads every drill. PT is becoming increasingly important.

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Old 08-13-2008, 19:49   #50
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Originally Posted by Biscuitsjam View Post
They're saying that ISAF will be providing our air support. They're currently talking about sending our entire troop to a remote patrol base that currently only contains a platoon.

We do a ruck march on some steep roads every drill. PT is becoming increasingly important.
If that's the case brother, I hope you NEVER need them...

****, you may just be going to my old ****hole...We were on a little hole in the ground COB a million miles from anything....I think there was about 75 people, total....Honestly, I loved it! There was VERY little bull****, there were NO officers (well, American officers, I **** you not, the highest ranking Army personnel on the COB were a pair of E8s..)




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Old 08-14-2008, 07:23   #51
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i was also on a small camp, only my platoon and some ANGs, 3K from the Pak border. it was pretty awesome, although the only support we had was CAS. it was 2.5 hours by truck to the closest military forces and we relied on the AHP, ANP and ANA people alot. expect alot of political crap with local warlords. reguardless what most may think they might have the say whether you have a quiet year or hell. i was 2 hours outside of Bagram.

the part i found most interesting while i was there, personally, was learning from the ANG armorer. i was my MP company's armorer so i would sit with him and learn their weapons and then give classes to my guys on how to operate them if need be. it came in handy when we would check up on our OPs manned by the ANG and their weapons would always be down. i got them fixed but it makes you wonder how often we have no means to be defended if our OPs dont have operational weapons???
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Old 08-14-2008, 07:47   #52
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[QUOTE=Broylz;11065744]i was also on a small camp, only my platoon and some ANGs, 3K from the Pak border. it was pretty awesome, although the only support we had was CAS. it was 2.5 hours by truck to the closest military forces and we relied on the AHP, ANP and ANA people alot. expect alot of political crap with local warlords. reguardless what most may think they might have the say whether you have a quiet year or hell. i was 2 hours outside of Bagram.

the part i found most interesting while i was there, personally, was learning from the ANG armorer. i was my MP company's armorer so i would sit with him and learn their weapons and then give classes to my guys on how to operate them if need be. it came in handy when we would check up on our OPs manned by the ANG and their weapons would always be down. i got them fixed but it makes you wonder how often we have no means to be defended if our OPs dont have operational weapons???[/QUOTE]




\Why would they need any ammo o? They're just going to let their cousins, brothers, uncles, whoever it happens to be that day, walk right on thruogh with a wave and a smile. Then they'll set up a rediculous ambush in the same general area and wait for you column to ome through to resupply, extract, or take over the OP....We couldn't trust our ANA/ANG guys as far as we could throw them (and they were pretty small






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Old 08-23-2008, 14:19   #53
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Extending

Buscuits, it looks like I'm going to be extending for a second year. you'll have to let me know where you wind up for your tour.
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Old 08-23-2008, 15:09   #54
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Good luck. You staying on to do the same kind of mission again?

I'll let you know where I am this coming spring.
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Old 08-24-2008, 00:57   #55
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continuing

with the PMT mission, at least thats my request.
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Old 09-13-2008, 21:42   #56
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Our leadership is saying that we won't get leave from Afghanistan because we'll only be in country for 10 months or so. Please tell me that isn't true.
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Old 09-13-2008, 21:57   #57
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might be. that sucks but the rule i was told is not within 90 days of getting there or leaving that only gives you 8 weeks to get everyone home and back.
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Old 09-14-2008, 15:45   #58
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We're hearing that only soldiers with a total activation time of 12 months + 1 day get leave. Our tour should be 12 months, of which about 10 will be in country.

However, we'll be "on orders" for 15 months, because the state is calling us to active duty until title 32 for additional training.
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Old 09-15-2008, 23:53   #59
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Our leadership is saying that we won't get leave from Afghanistan because we'll only be in country for 10 months or so. Please tell me that isn't true.
When we were training up at Bragg, we were told than E7s and above could get no leave while in Afghanistan. This was explained that while in-country, only 10% of the force can be on leave at any given time. They were gonna take care of Snuffie and leave the higher E's and the O's out to dry. In exchange, at the last minute they gave us an extra night with our spouses on the 4 day pass at Ft Bragg....of course, by then some of our spouses ( who had heeded the early advice to plan early for flights in and out of Bragg on the pass weekend ) already had plane tickets and such that couldn't be changed to accomodate the extra day.
Once in country, that guidance changed...EVERYONE would get leave. At this point, I believe anyone who hasn't taken leave has declined to take it voluntarily.
I'm gonna have to get in touch with someone from the next cycle ( I don't know if its your guys show Biscuits or not)...if that 45 day window still exists or not)...I'm extending for a second year, and I'm planning on my next leave being in April, which would put it 8 months since my last leave and 8 months left in the second tour, chopping the two years into thirds, basically.I'm HOPING that for guys doing a second year, the 45 day blackout dates at the beginning of your time on the ground dont apply, because I HAVE to get that leave at THAT time to accomodate plans back in the USA.
I'm hearing that a lot of the guys in the NY 27th are having their extension requests denied because you guys are hitting the ground heavy on personnel. I don't see the wisdom of that..we need as many bodies as we can get, and even if there are enough secfor guys in, say, Kabul, that body can be found a home elsewhere. The problem is that teh leadership in Kabul is having trouble seeing the big picture and thinks the whole country is as peaceful as kabul is. They are refusing to see the mission as anything but a peacekeeping mission, when its a by-God bullets flying combat tour in most of the rest of the nation.
BJ, send me a PM with your AKO email or yahoo screen name so we can talk directly
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Old 09-16-2008, 00:02   #60
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We're hearing that only soldiers with a total activation time of 12 months + 1 day get leave. Our tour should be 12 months, of which about 10 will be in country.

However, we'll be "on orders" for 15 months, because the state is calling us to active duty until title 32 for additional training.
The two months at Bragg were Title 10; the three pre-mob ATs, 7 weeks total for us, were Title 10; our orders are for 400 days to accomodate taking leave at the end of the Mob. Not sure how your state is doing it.
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